Saturday, March 21, 2009

You're on Your Own

Last year my wife and I spent some time on the Jersey shore and discovered that there had once been a thriving community just south of the Cape May lighthouse. There is virtually nothing left of it now. The town rose up in the mid to late 1800's and was pretty much wiped out in a hurricane around 1950 or so.

I don't recall whether there were lives lost or not, but when we read the accounts of the destruction we noticed one thing. The people just sucked it up, moved inland aways and stared over. Nowhere in the accounts of the disaster were accounts of anyone wondering where the government was, why didn't someone help, who is going to help them rebuild...

What has happened to that mentality? We can point to the Katrina mess and say that much was done wrong by all parties involved...but that's not the point here. What has happened to personal responsibility? Every time there is some major disaster politicians race to have their areas declared disaster zones so that the federal money will come racing in. That's not responsibility, it's irresponsibility!

We need to be responsible for ourselves. We also need to remember what it was like when neighbors looked out for neighbors. It shouldn't be that difficult to take care of our immediate needs, then help out our neighbors' immediate needs, and when the mess is over work on the rest of the details, helping out your neighbors when possible.

But wait! Doesn't the Bible tell us to bear each others' burdens? As a matter of fact, it does, but it does not tell us to expect that someone else will take all our problems off our hands. The fact that we should be willing to help others out should not be an excuse to expect others to race to our aide every time we need help.

I firmly believe it's our responsibility to help out anyone we can, any time we can. However, we should never expect anyone--particularly the government to run to our aid every time we need a helping hand.

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